Tasman the Dutch explorer

Contrary to popular notion, the history of European exploration in Australia and New Zealand predates the discoveries of Lt. James Cook by more than 125 years. Before the famous voyage of the Endeavour, several Dutch seafarers had set foot on Australian soil. In 1642 the Dutch East India Company, the VOC, sent Abel Tasman on an official expedition to map and discover the Unknown Southland. The Dutch were eager to find out more about this mythical continent on what was still a large white blank on the world map.